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Preseason games are torture; here's my alternative

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Tunescribe, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    In a perfect world...

    ...preseason games would not exist. The only reason they DO exist is greed, so the owners can charge regular-season prices for games that mean nothing while coaches settle their rosters for the upcoming season.

    Instead of preseason games the teams should have controlled scrimmages against one another in training camp, not masquerade the events as real NFL "games." The scrimmages should occur on Saturday evenings or Sunday afternoons and tickets should be $25 apiece. Season ticket holders should be able to re-sell tickets for these scrimmages without penalty if they so desire.

    Controlled scrimmages would involve teams within regional proximity of one another to minimize travel. For instance, the Patriots would scrimmage the Giants, Eagles, Redskins, etc. Controlled scrimmaging would help minimize injuries while giving teams a chance to hit someone else.

    The coaches would meet beforehand to determine which specific drills/scrimmage situations are needed to test their new players and personnel groupings, respectively. For instance, if one team has an unsettled offensive line and the other team wants to figure out its defensive backfield, certain drills and game situations would be tailored for those purposes WITHOUT EXPOSING OTHER KEY PERSONNEL (starting quarterbacks, etc.) TO THE HAZARDS OF LIVE CONTACT.

    The upside for controlled camp scrimmages vs. preseason games: fewer injuries/less wear-and-tear on players, a price break for season ticket holders and the opportunity for those without season tickets to affordably see the team in action.

    The downside: less money in the owners' pockets.

    My main concern is injuries in preseason games. Every year, some teams lose starters to injury in preseason games and it just isn't worth it. Of course, I'm speaking as a fan, and not an owner.
  2. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Interesting idea..but I think a REAL game are needed!! How can one really tell about players and units unless there is an actual game. Controlled scrimmages just don't hold the intensity of a real game and don't think they help the coaches that much. It's something, but for evaluation purposes and getting a team truly ready for Game One Preseason Games are the only REAL way.
    The Packers had an intra squad scrimmage game the other day..BEFORE any preseason game and it was interesting BUT this was in addition to the 4 preseason games. They had a family day sort of. I would think THAT might be an idea for the Pats..
    Remember till sometime in the early 70s, there were 6 Preseason games..SIX!! Two too many. Four is the right number and injuries happen all the time. See how many players are injured IN camp? It happens.
  3. Danny Boy®

    Danny Boy® Banned

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    You will NEVER see anything changed in the schedule that may reduce income.....NEVER.
  4. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    I understand that argument and to a certain extent, I agree. But I really wonder if, given the opportunity to tailor scrimmages to specific evaluative needs, coaches of opposing teams might prefer a different approach. Certainly, some of it would be game-situation full contact, but perhaps with constraints in place to minimize injury risk. There's no way the owners could justify charging full price for a preseason game in which the starting quarterback wears a red no-contact jersey. But, who among us wants to see people like Brady exposed to the risk of potential career-ending injury in a meaningless practice game? I say do away with preseason games and let the bullets fly when they count. Sure, injuries happen in camp but you've got to agree that the potential for serious injury is much greater in preseason games.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  5. Vern

    Vern Rookie

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    Which is why the current thinking is to go from 4 down to 3 pre-season games and up to 17 regular season games (1 of them outside of North America). This would have to get past the NFLPA of course. It could be a reality as soon as 2009 since the new CBA can be redone as early as next November 2008.

    Now, with a 3 game pre-season, I suppose some teams might start arranging scrimmages more, so in a round-about way it might happen.
  6. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I guess one man's torture is another man's ecstasy, Tune. This game tonight will likely outdraw the Sox game.

    Established veterans need 2 games to get ready. The other 40 odd souls on the TC roster need a little more live action exposure to make a case that they are ready to make a 53 man roster or stick on a PS or have their name flagged in the shadow roster rolodex. New HC's and coordinators need time to fine tune new systems they are installing. Teams need to evaluate players at something approximating NFL game speed and pace. Backups need game speed reps they hopefully will see all too few of once the season starts. And even veterans need to ease up to that level of play. You can't do that in the overly scripted and less intense format of scrimmages.
  7. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    There will never be a typical odd number of preseason games because each year half the league gets to have an extra home game over the other half....$$$$
  8. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    Like most good ideas the answer lies in the middle. What they should do is eliminate 2 preseason games and replace them with these controlled scrimmages. You can get great simulation and evaluation during 7 on 7 passing drills. Halve line running drills, etc. They are staples for HS coaches for ages.

    However I DO think that 2 preseason games are necessary. You have practise subsitutions in a real life situation. It give you a truer look at your final choices, yet will cut injury risk in half. However be warned you CAN get hurt in those controlled drills as well.
  9. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Why can't a scrimmage be tailored any way the coaches desire, including intensity level, approximation of true game situations, etc.? Perhaps they need only two quarters of live football to accomplish that and can otherwise do much more with skeleton drills that put certain players under a microscope against another team's starters. I'm just wondering aloud what the preseason landscape might look like without the owners' emphasis on exhibition game revenue.
  10. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    I think this is indicative of the immediate gratification society we live in.Everyone wants everything now and this is further exacerbated b the internet where we get information immediately such as a million preseason reports.

    Just be grateful training camp isn't 6 weeks long without the first preseason game arriving. I think camp is actually short compared to the old days.

    It's a small inconvenience to deal with.
  11. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    There's a lot of emphasis on revenue here..and THAT is part of it I am sure..but how much? And if that revenue is not received that way..might season tickets be pulled to even higher levels? Which is better? I also think many of the season ticket holders let others go to these games, so in many ways it gives other fans a chance to see some live football. Besides that though, I really have to wonder how much real evaluation would take place in anything less than a game. Surely some, but I agree with Mo NOT the same. Approzimations are all fine..BUT why have approximations when the real thing has been done and is better? Not sure really if there is any advantage..and if one is worried about injuries, don't play your best players.
    I think an added intrasquad scrimmage would be great..but THAT would be in addition to the 4 Games. I know they are talking about 3 again and it's NOT all that helpful for teams to have less time to get ready. So IF that happened I guarantee there would be a scrimmage or other situation wither intrasquad or with a near rival.
  12. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    If the number of preseason games was reduced, the price of regular season

    tickets would increase to cover the loss of revenue.
  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not sure it's really that simple. See, for instance, Gasper's piece today about how critical exhibition games are for backup QBs:
    http://www.boston.com/sports/footba...ckup_cassel_hoping_to_send_out_right_signals/
  14. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    Well for once I have to agree with Danny Boy. Everyone has all these suggestions which are very fan friendly, but are also asking the NFL owners to sacrifice millions and millions of dollars. That just ain't happening.

    That is why I am hoping to see the league move to 18 regular season and 2 preseason games sometimes in the near future. Heck, if they ever went through with their proposed "17 game schedule" then they would have to eliminate a preseason game or two.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  15. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Certainly, live game-speed action is important for backup QB development, but I have yet to hear a compelling argument why the same thing can't be accomplished in the alternative scenarios I've described.
  16. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    The problem is your argument proceeds from a false assumption... You are acting as though the purpose of preseason games is player development. That's not the case. The purpose of preseason games is to fleece the fans (and networks) out of more money.
  17. Rob0729

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    I disagree with the premise that preseason games are unneccessary and only done for greed. I think they are valuable for teams to gain continuity in a real game setting and it allows fans to get a preview of what they will be getting for the season and where a team needs work. I may miss other preseason games, but I always watch that third preseason game where they actually gameplan their competition and the starters play for most of the game.

    Now I do agree that there are too many games and that owners do charge too much to see them. I think players prepare themselves so much in the offseason that they only need two games to get into synch.

    I think this is all a moot point because I really believe Roger Goodell's initiative of shorting the preseason to 2 games and having a 17 game season with one game outside the US has a very strong chance of passing especially since the Miami/Giants' game sold out so quickly in England.
  18. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I don't want any additional games added to the schedule.

    I also have little issue with the 4 PS games as I do believe that starters need time to get acclimated with each other and to get readjusted to the speed of the game. The backups and fringe guys need as much live action as possible to prove that they belong.

    I don't see what all the fuss is about.
  19. Rob0729

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    I disagree with that. It isn't the purpose of preseason games. It is just an added benefit in the owner's minds.

    I think charging full price for preseason tickets is a fairly recent phenomenon (within the last 20 years). Older season ticket holders will have to verify this, but I don't think the Sullivans ever charged full-price for preseason tickets. I think with the NFL becoming the biggest sport in the country and rising costs to own a team made owners turn the existing preseason to a profit center. I don't think preseason games thought up for the purpose of an additional revenue stream.
  20. patfanken

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    #91 Jersey

    I know the players would want to eliminate the exhibition games. However I wonder how the union would react if they DID reduced the exhibition games, thus reducing the revenues that determines the size of the cap? Would the players have a change of heart if they knew the cap would shrink $10MM or so because of fewer exhibition games? Just a thought

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